These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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2-Adversity to Former Clients

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

57-In-House Lawyers

Former in-house lawyers may not take representations materially and directly adverse to their former employers (absent consent): (1) if they "personally represented" their former employer in the same or substantially related matter (some courts indicate that the matter must be "identical" or "essentially the same" as the previous matter); or (2) if they acquired material confidential information about their former employer ("general knowledge of the strategies, policies, or personnel of the former employer is not sufficient by itself" to disqualify the lawyer; a de minimus standard might apply if the in-house lawyer only addressed legal questions on the periphery of a matter); "general supervisory responsibility such as that exercised by the head of a legal department" ordinarily does not disqualify an in-house lawyer; sophisticated companies may grant prospective consents in these circumstances.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn